MythBusters: The Top 5 Software Security Misconceptions

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Published on
April 17, 2024

In today’s landscape, securing your software, from code to deployment, is no longer an option—it’s a necessity. As cyber threats continue to grow in volume and complexity, it’s more important now than ever to have a comprehensive software security strategy that will arm your organization against the latest attack techniques. 

Despite its criticality, software security remains a persistent challenge for many organizations. Modern businesses are often inundated with misconceptions that prevent them from properly securing their software. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 5 common software security misconceptions, as well as tips to help organizations break past them. 

Misconception 1: "Security Through Obscurity Is Sufficient"

“Security through obscurity” can be described as the reliance on secrecy as a main method of ensuring security. The idea behind this method is that hackers won’t be able to uncover vulnerabilities if they don’t know what operating system (OS) you’re using, the hardware model that system runs on, the language your application was programmed in, etc. This method is inherently flawed, as it inhibits organizations from enacting policies like zero trust.

There are many cons to this approach, as it provides organizations with a false sense of security. At the end of the day, it’s critical to ensure that security protocols are up to date to defend against proliferating threats. It’s also worth noting that not all threat actors will be deterred by the fact that they don’t know what a target system holds— once your secrets have been revealed, this approach leaves you even more vulnerable. Maintaining transparency and facilitating collaboration between security and engineering teams provides a much better defense and will ultimately be key to staying on top of emerging threats. 

Misconception 2: "My Business Is Too Small to Be a Target" 

One of the most dangerous misconceptions is that cybercriminals only target large organizations. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are just as susceptible to these threats—in fact, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, yet only 14% are adequately prepared to defend themselves. Cybercriminals typically target smaller entities because they often lack robust cybersecurity measures and adequate security training. Other times, they’re simply viewed as an easier means to gain access to a larger organization. 

The moral of the story? SMBs should always take care to consider their approach to software security, regardless of size. This includes developing a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, conducting ongoing security training for your staff and regularly updating all software, applications, browsers and OSs among other strategies.

Misconception 3: "Only External Threats Pose Security Risks"

There’s an overarching assumption across the cybersecurity community that all threats come from outside the organization. As such, security protocols are often put in place to defend against potential outside threats, neglecting internal ones. But according to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 74% of all breaches include the human element, with people being involved either via error, privilege misuse, use of stolen credentials or social engineering. Establishing least privilege protocols can be pivotal for organizations, as it limits employee access to what is needed and provides a line of defense against internal and external threats. 

Misconception 4: "Implementing Security Will Slow Down Development"

Organizations often overlook security recommendations out of fear that it will delay market growth and prevent them from staying ahead of the technology curve. While security considerations can add overhead, implementing security measures early in the development process can prevent costly fixes later in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). 

This is where the idea of “shift left” comes in. Organizations with high software maturity are cognizant of the flaws in every stage of the life cycle. Shift left detects and prevents problems using strong automation, governance and autonomy, which can result in faster development and higher quality software. Integrating proactive security measures ahead of time not only frees resources from having to patch later on, but significantly reduces developer burnout and alert fatigue.

Misconception 5: "Security Teams Hold Sole Responsibility"

To debunk this myth simply, software security is a team sport. For engineering teams, it can be tempting to keep security out of sight and mind to solely focus on building, but as applications grow in complexity and reveal a multitude of attack vectors, it’s critical to make security everyone’s business.

Fostering a security-aware environment is key to shrinking your software attack surface and keeping your organization safe. Developers often end up spending more time than they’d like on patching after an incident; instead, they should consult with their security teams to ensure a more pristine product—after all, a solid build plan will lead to less problems in runtime. 

Bolstering software security with RapidFort

At RapidFort, we recognize that securing your software from code to deployment can be easier said than done—that’s why we’ve developed the industry’s first Software Attack Surface Management (SASM) platform.

RapidFort arms your business with both run-time and build-time tools, enabling you to scan, understand and harden your software. The ability to automatically scan containers and remove unnecessary software components can reduce software vulnerabilities by 60%-90%. The result? More secure, cost-efficient containers and a significant decrease in vulnerabilities, lightening the load on security teams and streamlining DevSecOps processes.

Ready to adopt a better approach to software security and achieve an accurate view of your vulnerabilities? Get in touch with our team and schedule a demo today.

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